Nanowire Sensors in Cancer

Trends Biotechnol. 2019 Jan;37(1):86-99. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2018.07.014. Epub 2018 Aug 17.


In 2006, the group of Dr C.M. Lieber pioneered the field of nanowire sensors by fabricating devices for the ultra-sensitive label-free detection of biological macromolecules. Since then, nanowire sensors have demonstrated their ability to detect cancer-associated analytes in peripheral blood, tumor tissue, and the exhaled breath of cancer patients. These innovative developments have marked a new era with unprecedented detection performance, capable of addressing crucial needs such as cancer diagnosis and monitoring disease progression and patient response to therapy. The ability of nanowire sensors to identify molecular features of patient tumor represents a first step toward precision medicine, and their integration into portable devices has the potential to revolutionize cancer diagnosis and patient monitoring.

Keywords: field-effect transistor; memristor; precision medicine; silicon nanowire; tumor Microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Nanowires*
  • Silicon


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Silicon